Are Your Money Beliefs Hurting You?
We're Grown - Clean It Up
Here is your oh-so-eagerly awaited breakdown of three of the money beliefs I commonly see serve as blockages.
#1 – Money is evil.
#2 – I'm "bad" with money.
#3 – Money is difficult.
Now before you roll your eyes, especially concerning #3, hear me out. Most of the money beliefs we hold don't actually have to apply to us, and through holding onto them even as we progress, we hinder ourselves.
Let's break down belief #1. "Money is evil." We have all heard and probably resonated with some version of this belief. Some possible roots of this belief include: witnessing poverty/overwork in formative years, living in survival mode, seeing money as separation, or looking around and seeing destruction in the name of "wealth." Each of these is easily reframed because you're looking at it wrong for what you're trying to achieve.
When we witness poverty/overwork in our formative years, it not only has an effect on us mentally but our bodies can register it as a trauma. This sub-belief ties into survival mode and money as separation. When you're a child, it's difficult for you to understand the concept of "work." You understand needing resources just fine, especially if you've had an experience with poverty, but you don't quite understand "work" as an exchange of time/labor for resources. (We won't even get into the politics of that right now.) It was probably read by your young mind/body as abandonment. I don't know where my DNA/source of care goes, I just know they're gone.
Moving on – if that last paragraph resonated with you, you probably have some stuff to clean up despite the mess not being of your own making. Now, money seems evil as all hell when you're in survival mode. WHY is it this hard to sustain myself? What kind of sick cosmic joke...? I didn't even ask to be here!
Seriously, it is very sick to look around and know there is an abundance of resources that "something" seems to want to keep you from. If you're surviving, you're probably not able to focus on thriving. With that being said, money the substance is not evil. You're rebelling against intentional choices people and systems have made about money.
Those intentional choices people and systems have made about money have produced stratification that you may recognize as separating/alienating. They are. That's not money. That's the use of money. That's evil decision-making. (I'm ethically bound to this thing called "unconditional positive regard" – sometimes it sucks, but it's a pretty good way to live. It means that I don't think people are evil – I can look at their behaviors and make assessments from there. It doesn't mean what they're doing is okay, just means that it's a behavior.)
People do bad stuff in the name of "wealth." I would never try to gaslight you and pretend that isn't a thing we witness. They're also looking at money all wrong, which is why unethical behavior breeds more unethical behavior to hold onto the money acquired.
#2 – I'm "bad" with money.
Are you, though? This could possibly indicate that your spending is highly emotional, your intelligence/capacity was denigrated at some point in your life, you have debt, and/or you’ve had all of the financial literacy but none of the wealth.
Again, all of these beliefs are easily reframed. My favorite way to reframe a "bad" relationship with money is gratitude and intention. When you go to spend, make sure you’re clear about the need and express gratitude for meeting it. Why do you need what you're purchasing? Is it to feel better? That's a need, only you can decide if it's relevant.
For the people who've grown up in the US, you've noticed that women or even younger children are portrayed consistently in pop culture as frivolous and bad at money. Women who are "good" with money are portrayed as shrews, pursestring holding housewives or unfeeling "career women." Only recently have we moved into "girlboss" and "Lean In" territory, and, to be honest, neither of those is appealing. You have to respect yourself as the authority in your life – no one actually knows you better. You don't have to live a money story of irresponsibility because someone told you you're irresponsible.
DEBT! Okay, let's discuss. Debt is not bad. I know, I sound like a madwoman. You're probably thinking of refi calls and debt collections and "Was that degree worth it?" or "Were those shoes worth it?" Sounds pretty damn bad.
Anyway, this madwoman is right about this: Debt was a way you resourced for an emotional or material need. That’s it. You’re not “bad.”
Maybe what you actually need is more money to meet all of your needs. It shouldn't be a revelatory statement, but if you instantly attempt to discount it, let it sit. I am of the firm belief that we should get all of what we need and most of what we want (in line with the highest good of all involved). You didn't have the money, but you had the need, so you resourced it via debt. This says nothing about your value as a person or your morality.
#3 Money is difficult.
Get specific. What about money is difficult for you? Is it the morality attached, like above? Is it that there never seems to be enough? Again, get specific. Start unpacking your fears or carry them with you forever.
Money itself is not difficult per se. Don't grab the guillotine yet. The systems and beliefs we have created around money are difficult. Currency is a way we make meaning and facilitate things.
Great use of money requires attention to your personal patterns/needs and discipline. You are absolutely empowered to do this at any time, but you cannot be afraid to look your money beliefs in the face. I revisit my beliefs often. My fears and anxieties change as I encounter different things in my relationship with money. But I am no longer afraid to do that work. I want that for each of you.
If you do need a little clarity and a lot of support, The Money Reading is able to be booked until July 28th. This work takes time. As always, I'm a human accelerant (an uncomfortable fact of my life), so I urge you to take this opportunity.